The Stingrays were back in the North Charleston Coliseum to take on the Wichita Thunder for the last time on the weekend series. There were not many lineup changes for the Rays, as Mitchell Gibson would get the start over Garin Bjorklund. It was also finally announced that former Captain Andrew Chernichwen would be officially raised into the rafters on March 24th.
The first period would be relatively quiet, as only four shots would be taken in the first nine minutes of play, two by each team, respectively. Nick Nardella would be called for a trip on Kevin O’Neil to give the Stingrays the first advantage on the day. South Carolina would start to heat things up on the power play, getting three shots off. Wichita would get the first goal off, as Mitchell Russell would find Jay Dickman to put the Thunder up 1-0 for their first lead of the series. With thirteen seconds left in the period, Jonny Evans took a shot from his stomach to tie the game (cue ESPN theme)
31 seconds into the period, Tyson Empey went back to the box for a slash. Garet Hunt joined him soon after, putting the Thunder on a 5-3 for 41 seconds. Quinn Preston took advantage of the situation, putting the Thunder up 2-1. South Carolina killed the remaining 1:25. Ivan Lodina put the Rays back in action with a pass from Kameron Kielly from the corner as he spun into a backhand on goal past Gorsuch. Ryan Leibold wanted a piece of the action as he takes it all the way from center ice, fans a little on the shot, and still makes it past Gorsuch.
The action didn’t stop there, as Michal Stinil was sent to the box for a slash, giving South Carolina another advantage on the ice. Michael Kim sent a pass to Bryce Montgomery, who sent a monster slap shot from the face-off circle, putting the Rays up.
The third period started off with a Wichita goal, as Jason Pineo was credited with the goal on a deflection as they continued to chomp at the lead. Lodnia had a 2-1 opportunity as Gorsuch lost the puck but snatched it just before it crossed the goal line, causing chaos to erupt throughout the Coliseum. Peter Bates ties the game with six minutes left in the game, sending it into overtime.
South Carolina controlled the majority of possession, the physicality continuing into the extra minutes. It would be Jonny Evans laying a pass to Connor Moore in front of the net after a minute of overtime to end the game, giving the Stingrays the sweep on the weekend.
The Stingrays will travel to Greenville and Atlanta next weekend and will not return to North Charleston until February 10th.